Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reminder: The Fly on Halloween

Those of you planning to spend this Saturday indoors should remember that Howard Shore's first opera, The Fly, is scheduled to appear on CBC Radio 2. See here for details. It's a dark, grim, thought-provoking piece, perfect for those who like a little cautionary tragedy with their trick or treating...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I posted this in the comments, but since the situation created such heated discussions around the web, I thought I'd create a unique post. Composer John Corigliano has spoken with MovieScore Magazine regarding Edge of Darkness, for which he composed and recorded a score before being replaced by Howard Shore. I'm posting this here not to fuel further controversy, but rather to extinguish it.

Although Corigliano is disappointed by the turn of events, it's far from the Machiavellian situation it's been made out to be. Unsurprisingly, the composer has handled the situation with characteristic grace and aplomb, and doesn't seem at all soured on the film world: "[Warner Brothers] had a very different idea of what the film should be. With Mel Gibson starring, they wanted it to be more of an action film. So they filmed more violent scenes, and wanted a score to match the macho image they wanted to create for their star. If I had been asked to score a Mel Gibson action film, I would have refused it -- not because it isn’t a perfectly valid idea, but because it is wrong for me. On the other hand, this happens all the time. Howard Shore -- whose music replaced mine -- had exactly the same thing happen to his score for King Kong, which he’d composed, recorded, and had replaced by James Newton Howard’s music. It just hadn’t happened to me before.”

Howard Shore, I know, is a huge fan of Corigliano -- Ghosts of Versailles in particular. I'm certain that he, like the rest of us, feels great sympathy for John -- empathy even -- but is excited for this new opportunity.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

21st Century Overture

I've been sitting on this one for a few weeks, so I'm glad it's out now! Howard Shore's new work--21st Century Overture, dedicated to Switzerland's 21st Century Orchestra--will debut in Lucerne on November 7, 2009 with the composer in attendance. Click here for more information.

The evening's program reads like a dream: Shore, Rózsa, Morricone, Williams... Maestro Ludwig Wicki and company sure know how to put on a concert! Of course, I'll be here handling book work, etc., so I hope we'll have a handful of reviews soon after the seventh.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TORN on Orensanz

Altaira at TheOneRing.net has posted greendragon's great write-up of the Orensanz presentations from Oct. 11. Click here to read the piece. I missed the very beginning of this day, so it's wonderful to be able to get a better view of the morning's full roster.

As I've mentioned before, I thought this was our best presentation of the week-long celebration -- perhaps because the pressure of the concerts was finally off our backs. Whatever the reason, it was a great day!

Since Two-Thousand and...

I have to laugh at the cutoff point in this one...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Treat

Those looking to put an extra buzz in their Halloween plans should check out the CBC Radio 2 broadcast of Howard Shore's opera, The Fly, on October 31 at 1:00 p.m. (This is a recording of the September 17, 2008 LA Opera performance.) For more details, or to listen live, click here.

FAQ Updates Coming

Hi Everyone,
I'll be updating the blog's FAQ over the next few days. As always, your input is valued and appreciated. I'm going to do my best to catch up after the crazy past few months!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surefire Applause

How do you get applause at Radio City Music Hall? Simple, just mention The Hobbit! Thanks to everyone who brought this video to my attention.

NY 2009 in Pictures

Just getting this started. I'll keep updating as more and more come in. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Pics from Magpie, Taylor, Jim Ware, Doreen, and Jim Lochner currently represented. Am I leaving anyone out? I'd like to give credit where it's due.


Film Score Monthly Online subscribers should be sure to check out Jim Lochner's review/journal of the events leading to Radio City and, of course, the concert itself.

Much of the discussion revolved around Doug’s upcoming book, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. If all goes as planned, the book, nearly eight years in the making, is due to be released in April 2010. It will also be accompanied by a CD of LOTR rarities, including earlier versions and demos of various cues from the three films. After all these years, composer and author have forged a unique bond, and Shore always graciously complimented Doug when it came to discussion of the book, saying he “made logic out of what I wrote.” [Read more...]

And if you're not a subscriber, you could always become one! I'm always biased toward my friends at FSM, but they still provide the finest film music reporting in the business, in my opinion.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One More Radio City Review

Though it's not necessarily our last Radio City review, I thought Peter Tartara's heartfelt write-up was worth a repost:

A little past 7:30 PM, Friday’s concert formally began. Led by Ludwig Wicki, The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, The Collegiate Chorale, and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and vocalist Kaitlyn Lusk set to work to bring the music of The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring to life. And that is what happened. The film projected in colossal proportions behind them, Maestro Wicki and all those he assembled breathed life into the flickering images. And all those in the audience were involved, too. For we were not simply passively watching a film. Instead, we, too, contributed to the spirit, the excitement, the reverence, and the awe in the room. This was magic happening. This was a new chapter of the legend of The Lord of The Rings. [Read more...]

Grand Rapids Review

Click for semi-legibility. Yes, I'm aware the bottom is cut off. That's how I received it, however. If anyone has a clearer version, please email!

Speaking of email, I'm still working my way through my backlog. I promise to get to everyone soon. Sorry, all!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Road to Radio City

Hi everyone,

Below is my totally informal and unpolished journal of the last few weeks of the Radio City experience. It's nothing too consequential or insightful, but for those who wanted a little behind-the-curtain view, here it is. Enjoy!

The Road to Radio City

Thursday, October 1

I’m a nervous flyer by nature. Yes, even after all this time and mileage, I get a bit jumpy boarding, even on short flights. In fact, oftentimes I’m worse on the short flights. I find international flights smoother – and anyway, once you’re on, you’re on. There’s something soothing about the resignation. If I’ve improved in any aspect, it’s that I only tend to get jumpy on outgoing flights. Heading home I’m usually so exhausted that I don’t care if we’re doing loop-de-loops and barrel rolls.

Heading out to New York for several days of press brought precious little resignation or calm. I’ve done tons of press before, but I’ve almost always been on the other end of the microphone. I’ve interviewed dozens of composers since I was an undergrad in college. And I’ve gotten pretty comfortable doing them… even back when the composers would call my home and get my mom on the phone. Heck, even when my mom asked Phillip Glass if he was one of my percussion students, or when she asked Quincy Jones to call back later because she wasn’t comfortable speaking with famous people! But I’m decidedly not used to being the subject of an interview. It’s strange that the more you have to talk about yourself, the more control you lose. The interviewer can take you any direction they choose, really.

I knew that I’d be speaking with Howard Shore at the Paley Center in New York. I knew that Billy Boyd would be joining us, and that Kurt Loder would moderate. I couldn’t figure out how it would all fit together, but was thrilled that it was Kurt’s job to moderate and not mine! A day or two before leaving, I also found out that they’d be shooting a short piece for MTV News. More pressure!

The much-dreaded flight was pretty uneventful. In fact, we arrived something like 30 minutes ahead of schedule, so it felt like I was barely on the plane. Fine by me! I used my extra time to grab a taxi and drop off my luggage at the hotel. More good news as I wasn’t really looking forward to dragging my belongings along the streets of New York. I walked over to the Paley Center and ran into Glenna Freidman entering the building. Glenna is a publicist, and was responsible for much of the Radio City build-up press. I’d been working with her for a few weeks – months maybe – and she’d arranged all the print and radio I’d been doing prior to this.

We headed upstairs and wound our way into the green room. Kurt Loder was already there getting his make-up done. The guy is ridiculously young looking, despite the fact that he’s almost exactly the same age as my parents. (For the record, my parents look pretty young too, but Mr. Loder’s appearance truly belies his age.) Kurt was great. Very nice, very professional. We’d spoken on the phone a few days before, but even then he’d clearly done his research. He knew all about the book. Knew about the Rarities album. Knew all about the late summer legal stress. Consummate pro.

Billy Boyd arrived next. His appearance surprised me a little. I don’t think it was his beard… I think I was shocked to see him full-sized! Sure I’ve seen him in Master and Commander, etc., but somehow I was shocked to see him sporting non-hobbit dimensions.

Howard, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, arrived last. I’m always so happy to see them arrive. They really are family at this point.

We filmed our interviews, and I went first. I was considerably less nervous than the last time I was on TV, which was last May in Poland. I think a lot of the credit goes to Kurt’s style… but understanding the languages around me couldn’t have hurt either. I ended up learning a few Polish phrases in May, but nothing of much import.

We also shot a handful of group photos, which I believe were for the Paley Center. The photographer asked Billy to please button his suit coat. Billy jokingly asked, “Do you hate my shirt?” but I don’t think the photographer was listening. “Yes, yes,” she absently responded.

I was surprised that we walked through the audience in order to take the stage. I don’t think there was any sort of backstage area. At least nothing that I saw. Once again, Kurt ran things extremely well, keeping the interviews moving and making sure that everyone participated in a meaningful way. The audience’s questions were, overall, quite good. I felt bad for the gentleman who asked Billy to sing, both because it put Billy on the spot, and because it was clear that the guy wasn’t going to get him to do it.

We signed a few autographs out front, then the four of us – Howard, Elizabeth, Billy and I – went out for dinner. Very nice modern Chinese place. I think we were all starving. Howard asked where my hotel was, and I told him. He looked a little worried and said I should be careful around there. Teasingly said the area used to be “hooker central.” I assured him that everything looked pretty nice. The hotel rooms were clean and filled with books. Billy said, “Why would you need books in hooker central!?”

It turned out that Billy was actually staying in the same hotel, so we walked back after dinner. He pointed at a nearby building as we walked. “Elijah’s in there shooting something for Saturday Night Live right now.” Although we did a little LOTR talk that evening, we certainly didn’t focus on it exclusively. It was interesting to note, then, how often Billy brought up Elijah and Dom without prompting. Their friendship was, and is, genuine, not simply the result of effective marketing.

Friday, October 2

Friday was mainly a press day. I got myself up reasonably early in the morning, hoped next door for a cup of coffee, and went back to my room to await phone calls. After the interviews I had a meeting at CAMI’s offices. CAMI, of course, is the production company behind the live LOTR performances, and I regularly work with them as a consultant. Josh and Wendy are my two main points of contact, and they’re both terrific. Josh and I have met several times, though I don’t think we’ve ever actually met inside the U.S. before. Wendy I’d never met in person, but was just a quick and funny in person as on the phone.

Had one more interview in the afternoon, then dinner with Jim Lochner from Film Score Monthly and FilmScoreClickTrack.com. Jim’s a lovely guy, and it was immensely fun to hang out with him. We’d never met in person either (well, technically he’d said hello at Paley the night before), but we got on like we’d known each other for years. Had dinner at Le Halles, which was formerly run by Anthony Bourdain of Kitchen Confidential and No Reservations fame.

Saturday, October 3

Saturday began with another coffee run (are you sensing a trend?) and more phone interviews. After this, it was off to Barnes and Noble for a talk with Howard. The green room was well-stocked with hand sanitizer, and I now understand why. You shake a lot of hands at these things!

I was quite happy with the talk. It was actually fun to venture a bit outside of Middle-earth to discus the new Collector’s Edition CD, which I highly recommend. The “Coffee Suite” is killer, and not just because I’m hopelessly addicted to caffeine. It’s like the wiggly chromaticism of Ed Wood met the rhythm sessions of The Score. Great! The crowd questions were quite strong once again.

Howard very generously steered the conversation toward the book for a good long while, which was exciting for me. We plan on repeating this event, or others like it, when the book is finally released. Yes, we’re looking at a London premiere, but we’ll be sure to do appearances in the states as well.

I laughed on the way out when I noticed that they’d made a very large—and very nice looking—banner out of the headshots of Howard and myself. It was suggested that I try to bring the banner home for use as either a blanket or a cape. I did neither.

Afterwards we did a dinner/business meeting with some of Howard’s staff to discuss book contracts and some potential new collaborators. (I say “staff,” but they’re all friends at this point, so it wasn’t really much like a meeting.) Different Chinese place this time. By total coincidence, the party arriving at the restaurant before us was discussing “these upcoming Hobbit films.” They didn’t seem to be in the business, just fans. If only they’d seen who was standing behind them in line!

We all seemed to be on precisely the same page business-wise and creatively. Our legal stall may end up being the best thing that ever happened to this book. In short, we have to lay everything out once again. It’s a ton of work, but it’s worth it. At the Paley Center, Loder asked me if I felt any pressure working on a project of this size. I said, “Tolkien’s writing is absolutely amazing.” Pointed to Billy and said, “The movies were incredible.” Pointed to Howard, “The score is absolutely perfect.” Pointed to myself, “I can’t be the guy who takes this all off the end of the pier. This book has to be as good as everything that has proceeded it.”

The legal headaches have forced us to re-do a lot of work, but realistically, every time we do it, we do it better. I honestly believe it was meant to happen this way – that fate has forced us to back up and do one more polish. For whatever reason, the piece is supposed to improve in this way. In fact, we all feel that it was meant to be, and are very enthused about the upcoming work. The new production is toasted.

Sunday, October 4 – Thursday October 8

Up early Sunday, back to the airport, back to Chicago. Another fast, smooth flight… I must be running out of good luck.

I spent a few days in Chicago, although my mind was still firmly in NY. Wednesday was a conference call with Joe Augustine, project manager for Howe Records, and some of our new friends in London. I left the meeting with an extremely positive feeling.

During the off-week a dozen emails flew back and forth between Josh (at CAMI) and me as we try to figure out if there is time in the RCMH contract for pre-concert lectures and signings. By Thursday night, we were still not sure…

Friday, October 9

Back to the airport, but later than last time. This made me a bit nervous since the performance was only a few hours off. Airlines can be a bit unpredictable at the best of times, and this was a holiday weekend. I once missed a public speaking appearance for TORN because lighting storms shut down all flights until after my scheduled timeslot. They then offered to fly me out late at night, but it did me no good at all. Today again I was left in an understaffed check-in area, and by the time the line reached the counter, I was informed that I could not board my flight. I begrudgingly booked a later flight for both me and Jill, my better half, who was accompanying me on this leg of the trip.

We made the later flight, though it was still tight. I checked my email on the tarmac to see that the pre-concert was officially on for Saturday night only, which I quickly posted on the blog. As a general rule, if I post something uncharacteristically brief, it was probably posted in such a manner – via phone in an uncomfortable public place.

We dashed over to Radio City, got through (tight!) security and started wandering around backstage. Getting our bearings, we came through the stage door just as the orchestra burst into the Fellowship theme. Wish that would happen every time I entered a room!

I stopped for a second to get the lay of the land. Wow! Radio City Music Hall. I’d never been inside before. It’s strange that my first view of the place was from the stage toward the hall, not the other way around. I know it’s not the most amazingly acoustic room. Neither is it the biggest or most high-tech. But you can’t beat the history and cachet of this place. We’d arrived!

After dress rehearsal, Jill and I joined my brother and his wife for dinner at Rockefeller Center. They (Dan and Maria) were in town for the concert as well, and I was really glad they came. We walked back to Radio City together, and by this time the place was an utter madhouse. Throngs or people lined up and milled about, laughing with each other, barking at ticket tellers. I saw Timdalf in full costume posing for pictures under the marquee. Dan looked at me. “I’ve never seen anything like this…” As soon as I got into the house, I did a quick radio interview for Fictional Frontiers. Don’t know if anything I said was audible above the crowd din, but it should make a nice audio documentation of the energy in that room.

The performance… what can I say that hasn’t been said better by others? Seeing the films and hearing the scores like this is a completely new experience – a new art form. I’ve seen Fellowship like this nearly 10 times now, but it’s shockingly good each time out. Allowing the music to become the center of focus creates such a heightened experience. It’s still cinematic, but there’s something amazingly immediate, almost balletic about it. I hope other scores follow suit.

After the show it was time for signings. My brother actually got in line to get my autograph. Howard thought this was pretty funny, and asked me why he’d gone through the line. I explained, “He’s an accountant. He’s just wired to do everything in a certain methodical order.”

A few confused—and apparently nearsighted—souls thought I was Billy Boyd, and asked for autographs and hugs. They said, “You were my favorite hobbit!” They seemed so excited, I didn’t have the heart to tell them. I mumbled thanks hoping that they didn’t notice my lack of Scottish brogue, then scribbled a really bad signature so that they wouldn’t notice a complete lack of the letter B. Howard asked why my signature was getting “increasingly cryptic,” and I just laughed.

We were there until well after midnight, then hopped a cab to a nearby nightspot for a little snack. Home around 3:00 a.m. or so, and very, very ready for sleep!

Saturday, October 10

Up early to address emails concerned that the pre-concert talk hasn’t been properly announced. It was a realistic concern. We didn’t want to show up to give a lecture to 12 people. That would have looked awfully silly. Before I knew it, it was time for the blog dinner party. I knew going in that this would be one of the weekend’s highlights – and most likely, one of its great frustrations. My time would be limited – we had an engagement not too long after the party’s start – and I wouldn’t be able to really spend quality time with everyone there. There were so many people I wanted to meet. Actually, I didn’t want to just “meet” them, and I wanted to sit and get to know them. I guess that’s the weird tradeoff when any aspect of your life becomes public. You meet a million interesting people, but you’re kept at a distance. This is why I generally try to schedule an event or two on my own, like the book previews we did in London last spring. But there was no time for that on this trip. As we go more and more public, I wonder if those types of things will become impossible.

I was thrilled to speak with Doreen, Taylor, Georg, Tim, Marilynn, Glen, and other whose names I’m either now forgetting, or whose names flew past my ears too quickly. I was absolutely embarrassed by the number of gifts you guys brought – many of which I was simply unable to open until returned home! What beautiful, thoughtful creations!

And that cake! I spent the entire rest of that day lamenting that I never got a bite of it! I was already starving, but I generally don’t like to eat a big meal right before speaking. But the cake, the cake! I could have nibbled just a bit. I should have! The hungrier I got the more that cake became the sole focus of my world. ☺

While I was eyeing the cake, word came in from CAMI. The pre-concert talk was still on. Radio City wanted us on stage.

Time was not on our side. Howard had made an appointment for a guided tour of the Tolkien manuscripts at Fordham, and I was to join in. With our gifts in tow we quickly drove over to the library where the guide was waiting.

Many of you saw these materials, no doubt. They’re amazing documents, rich with detail and insight. But what pleased me the most was the manner in which they were created. Tolkien wrote with several different pens, which lent the documents a tattered, crazy-quilt look. Unused ideas were hastily scrawled and marked out. New concepts were jotted on the back of student exams and Oxford faculty menus. It reminded me of the knee-high stack of paper currently on my office floor with my own collection of margin doodles, red ink corrections, sloppy rewrites, etc. I’m not comparing myself to Tolkien, of course, but I was thrilled to see that that I’m not the only one who accumulates what I like to call “the detritus of endeavor.”

I think Howard took away something similar. He was happy to see that Tolkien didn’t always know where he was going with his massive creation, that he spent great time and effort to work out details, and let the story lead him when necessary. Howard creates his music in much the same way. He focuses on the moments before he focuses on the big picture. The big picture will always reveal itself, but if you try to attack it too early, it’s almost prohibitively imposing.

It was overwhelming to be in the presence of these documents, written in the hand of the father of modern fantasy. My mind reeled a bit. I wished I’d had some cake…

It was difficult attracting a cab afterwards. And once we got one, the driver seemed a bit confused about dropping us at the RCMH stage door. We arrived about 3 minutes before we were to hit the stage. I dropped off my gift collection and stretched out backstage, trying to forget what I was about to do. We were all still worried that the announcement regarding the pre-concert talks went out too late, so we didn’t know if anyone would actually be there. Thankfully, the house was about half full. That’s 2500 people attending a barely publicized talk about a nearly decade-old film. I can’t believe I’m allowed to be a part of this phenomenon!

It’s difficult to read an audience on an event like this. You don’t really see faces. You see heads. You see movement. That’s about it. We didn’t want to simply rehash what these people may have heard earlier in the week. In fact, we’d joked over dinner that we should go out and spend a half hour talking about the score to The Game, just to mix things up a bit.

In the end, I thought the talk went very well. As many of you noticed, our sound went a bit buggy at one point. I still don’t know what happened for sure. The techs told me later that they were “testing the decks, and someone accidentally left a channel open,” but what were they using to test the decks? It sounded like laser sound effects circa 1982! Oh well, it was a good tension-breaker… and now I can always say I got a few laughs from the audience at radio City… even if they were “at” not “with.”

The Saturday night performance was maybe even better than the Friday night. The orchestra seemed more electrified. Oh, the principle horn, what a sound! The chorus’ intonation and diction was even better, which was quite a feat since Friday was already excellent. The overall house mix was better as well. I didn’t mind the applause fest that spontaneously erupted on Friday night, but it did often seem like applause for applause’s sake. Saturday’s was more subdued – until the end. That Two Towers announcement really knocked the walls out!

The signings went well again. Thanks to the pre-concert talk, no one through I was a suddenly de-bearded Billy Boyd. Tim Curran from Film Score Monthly was there as well, but he couldn’t stay long enough to really chat. That’s ok, we’ll get together next time I’m in Los Angeles. I again wished I had more time to talk to people, but we were still on a schedule, and had a long line.

After the signing we returned to the backstage area to pick up our gifts from the blog party. We took one last look at the stage, which was being struck, then drifted out into the street. The marquee was already coming down. “It went so fast,” Howard noted. “Pretty soon it’ll be like we were never there.” It was one of the few times I disagreed with Howard. Whatever happens next, it will never be like we were never there.

Sunday, October 11

We didn’t get home until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. after the Saturday show. Still, the morning alarm never got a chance to sound. I awoke early enough to get dressed, pack up my belongings, check out of the hotel, stash my luggage, and report to the Orensanz Center. I missed TORN’s presentation, which I regretted, and only made it in for the last bit of Colleen Doran’s interesting discussion of Tolkien art. Rats. Shortly thereafter, David Salo arrived and I met him in person for the very first time.

Elizabeth’s film, Journey’s End, was both a fantastic look into Howard’s creative/professional life, and a thoughtful, funny portrait of the man himself. A shorter version of this film came with the deluxe version of the ROTK OST. Whenever I’m asked what Howard is really like, I point to this film. This new version is even better, and I love that it doesn’t shy away from the “Use Well the Days”/”Into the West” situation. It was nothing to be embarrassed about. Creative projects often abandon an idea here and there. We’d just seen Tolkien’s own edits the day before! It’s funny how the more you know about these situations, the less sordid they seem.

Our talk this day was, I felt, our best discussion of the week. We covered everything from the music, to the book, to Howard’s work on other projects, to our own musical backgrounds. Fans even asked if we’d continue to collaborate on a Hobbit book. Howard said he’d love to if I were interested, then handed me the mic. I leaned in close said, “YES,” then handed it back to him.

Jill and I said our goodbyes to Howard and Elizabeth in the street outside Orensanz. There was a wedding coming in just after us, so we had to get out of the room quickly. We all hugged and promised to talk next week, ducked into cabs, and departed.

We stopped off for one last lunch with Jim Lochner, where we toasted the end of an incredibly demanding and wildly successful couple of weeks.

Jill slept on the plane most of the way home. The ride was bumpy as all get out, but I didn’t mind.

At home I finally unwrapped my gifts, and marveled at such generosity. I thought of the artistry I’d just seen, and of how lucky I am to be a part of such an inspirational crowd. I was exhausted, but excited about returning to book work the next day.

But before that, I fix myself a nice slice of cake!

Step Into Darkness

From MovieScore Magazine.com:

John Corigliano’s score for the upcoming Mel Gibson thriller Edge of Darkness, directed by Martin Campbell, will be replaced by a new score by Howard Shore. The switch of composers was first indicated when the theatrical poster for the film appeared online this week, showing a credit block that makes no mention of Corigliano but lists Howard Shore under the “music by” tag. Warner Bros. has confirmed to MovieScore Magazine that Howard Shore is replacing the score but did not comment on the reasons behind the replacement. The film is produced by GK Films and Warner Bros. is distributing with a release date set to January 29.

According to MovieScore Magazine’s sources, Howard Shore is not only scoring Edge of Darkness for GK Films, but also their upcoming crime drama London Boulevard, based on the novel by Ken Bruen. This film is directed by William Monahan, who wrote the screenplay for Edge of Darkness and The Departed, another film scored by Howard Shore. London Boulevard stars Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell and Anna Friel. [Continue...]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shore Magazine

The Shore Staff writers from Shore Magazine wishes to remind you that Howard Shore's score will be performed on the shores of Grand Rapids, Michigan this weekend.


Please do not attempt to read this post out loud.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Hi everyone,

I'm still collecting my thoughts from this past weekend. I'm also collecting my wits -- what a couple of weeks! I'll do my best to share everything soon. I'm still working my way through emails, etc., so please expect responses on those in the near future as well.

In brief, however, this weekend was incredibly important to me. Not because of press or presentations, but because I got to meet so many of you -- the lifeblood of this entire project. I'm honestly humbled by the thoughtfulness and kindness on display. I'm not sure I have the words to express my gratitude... but I'm always more than willing to consult the thesaurus to see if I can find them! :)

But for now... the rest of this week will hold little rest for the weak! We're starting to look ahead to next year's RCMH Two Towers performances already. It's early to be sure, but there are a few ideas we're kicking around.

But before that, Lucerne and London are on the agenda. I'm still feeling out my schedule regarding Lucerne -- primarily because I know the prep for London will be a bit intense. Why? Well, if you didn't hear it this weekend, we're now looking at London for the book's world premiere release. It seems perhaps even more appropriate to release this long-prepared book in the land of Eagle and Child. This isn't set in stone, but it is our current plan.

However, there's a lot of work to do on the book before this. We've decided to restructure the business/publishing end of things. I'll have more to say about this later, but in short, we felt that we lost too much control in the mad dash to prepare the book for Radio City -- so we've reclaimed that control. We've brought on a new art director to oversee our layout, and I'll be introducing this person soon as well.

So yes, we're actually returning to the layout phase, which means we're also returning to the intense schedule from late last summer. As of yesterday afternoon, our production officially reopened with a series of international calls and files bouncing back and forth between ftps. Here we go again!

A few more contracts will need to be signed before I can give you all the names and details, but the grindstone is once again occupied! Happily there are more hands at it this time, so I don't think we'll be subjected to the same levels of sleep deprivation. I know, famous last words...

Expect my NY journal in the coming days. I don't know if anyone's really interested in experiencing the past couple of weeks from my bleary point of view, but it'll be cathartic for me, so hopefully you'll be able to tolerate it!

Again, thank you all so much for an unforgettable experience. Our journey is just beginning... again! :)


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Post them, link them, let's hear what you thought!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pre-Concert Lecture

Pre-concert lecture. Saturday only. 6:30 - 7:00. Radio City. Details
as I hear them!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New York Post

I must admit, my stomach clenches ever so slightly each time I read one of these. This is about to become entirely real! Wow, Radio City... unbelievable. Nerve-wracking!

Anyway, enough of that. This most recent bit of press comes courtesy of the New York Post.


Safe Travels

Safe travels, one and all! See you soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wall Street Journal

None other than the Wall Street Journal has a lovely piece on the Radio City Fellowship concerts. That's a pretty lofty mention, I think! Read the article here.

Incidentally, we did another big book meeting earlier today, and are now officially gearing up to restart the production as soon as Radio City is behind us. No peace for the wicked...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Another interesting bit of press here, courtesy of NYU.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More CBS

When embedding the CBS video yesterday, I neglected to link to the original article, which can be found here.

I hope to be back in the next ay or so with a couple of helpful announcements.

Thanks to everyone who's enduring my hard-to-reach status as of late!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Children of the Rings

I'm back on the ground in Chicago now, but the press parade marches on!

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Thanks to CBS' David Morgan for sending the link.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ongoing Discussion Thread [October, 2009]

I don't have time today to provide a full-on summary/update of events, but I sense that October could be a particularly vocal month around here, so I'm going to activate the October discussion board.

I'll try to hop on as often as I can, but be sure to keep your eyes on Twitter, which is much easier to update when the going gets tough. Or heck, you can try Facebook too, though that usually duplicates blog and Twitter posts. But they say social networking is where it's at, so who am I to disagree?

Access our out-dated September board here.

See you soon!


Suvudu Contest

In case you haven’t noticed, the excitement level around here for The Lord of the Rings at Radio City Music Hall (more details) is pretty high. Everything about this is wonderful: the movie scores by Howard Shore, the films by Peter Jackson (Fellowship of the Ring will be played during the concert, by the way), and, of course, the books by J.R.R. Tolkien. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to extend to you the chance to win some of the cool stuff that we get to enjoy every day! [Read more...]

Good luck, everyone! I'm not providing any hints, but I don't think regular readers will likely need any!

B&N Reminder

Hope to see many of you this evening!

Saturday, October 3
6:00 pm ET
Lincoln Triangle
1972 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, 212-595-6859

Howard Shore: Collector's Edition, Vol.1

Author Discussion
Join Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore as he discusses the music of The Lord of the Ringswith Doug Adams.

Friday, October 2, 2009


It's like I was just there...

Read the write-up here. I assume this--and possibly more--will play on MTV news at some point as well.

Apologies to those unable to view this. The MTV feed, linked here, is apparently not available in some countries. Please let me know if this makes it over to YouTube and I'll re-embed.
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